Title 5 Part 293 → Subpart D

Title 5 → Chapter I → Subchapter B → Part 293 → Subpart D

Electronic Code of Federal Regulations e-CFR

Title 5 Part 293 → Subpart D

e-CFR data is current as of April 2, 2020

Title 5Chapter ISubchapter BPart 293 → Subpart D

Title 5: Administrative Personnel

Subpart D—Employee Performance File System Records

§293.401   Applicability of regulations.
§293.402   Establishment of separate employee performance record system.
§293.403   Contents of employee performance files.
§293.404   Retention schedule.
§293.405   Disposition of records.
§293.406   Disclosure of records.

Authority: 5 U.S.C. 552a and 5 U.S.C. 4305 and 4315; E.O. 12107 (December 28, 1978); 5 U.S.C. 1103, 1104, and 1302; 3 CFR 1954-1958 Compilation; 5 CFR 7.2; E.O. 9830, 3 CFR 1943-1948 Compilation.

Source: 47 FR 3080, Jan. 22, 1982, unless otherwise noted.

return arrow Back to Top

§293.401   Applicability of regulations.

This subpart applies to Executive agencies as defined in sections 105, 3132(a)(1) and 4301(1) of title 5, U.S. Code, including Military Departments (but not non-appropriated fund employees) as defined in section 102 of title 5, U.S. Code, and independent establishments as defined in section 104 of title 5, U.S. Code. Within those agencies, the requirements of this subpart apply to all employees occupying positions subject to civil service rules and regulations, including Senior Executive Service positions as defined in 5 U.S.C. 3132(a)(2).

return arrow Back to Top

§293.402   Establishment of separate employee performance record system.

(a) Copies of employees' performance ratings of record, including the performance plans on which the ratings are based, must be placed in either the employee's Official Personnel Folder (OPF) or in the Employee Performance File (EPF). However, other performance-related documents may be retained in the OPF only when the agency prescribes the use of a separate envelope, temporarily located in the OPF, and removed whenever the OPF (except as required in §293.404(b)) is transferred to another agency. Performance ratings of record, including the performance plans on which the ratings are based, shall be retained on the left (temporary) side of the OPF. No other performance-related record shall be retained on the left (temporary) or right (long term) side of the OPF or shall be transferred to the National Personnel Records Center (except as required by §293.404(b)).

(b) Except for performance records maintained in the OPF consistent with paragraph (a) of this section, each agency having employees occupying a position described in §293.401 shall provide for maintenance of performance-related records for such employees in this EPF system. The agency may elect to retain records in a separate file that is located in the same office with the OPF, or in an envelope kept in the OPF itself. If the agency determines that a separate EPF is cost-effective, such a file may be located in another designated agency office (as specified in the agency's performance appraisal plan) including with supervisors or managers (hereinafter referred to as rating officials) or with Performance Review Boards. Any supporting documents that the agency may prescribe as necessary for agency officials in performance of their duties shall be kept in these files.

(c)(1) Agencies shall provide their employees access to their performance files (automated and manual). Such a request for access shall be processed in accordance with established agency procedures, consistent with Office of Personnel Management regulations regarding access to records contained in part 297 of this chapter. Such access shall be provided to the employee or to the employee's designated representative, and such records may also be disclosed to other officials of the agency who have a need for the documents in the performance of their duties.

(2) All other requests for performance documents made to agency officials (e.g., Freedom of Information Act requests or requests made under the “routine use” provisions of the Privacy Act) shall be processed by the responsible agency official in accordance with agency procedures consistent with Office of Personnel Management regulations regarding disclosures of such records contained in parts 293 and 297 of this chapter.

(3) Privacy Act requests for amendment of records maintained in this system shall be processed by the responsible agency official in accordance with agency procedures consistent with Office of Personnel Management regulations regarding amendment of records contained in part 297 of this chapter.

(d) Agencies maintaining the EPF in an automated or microform system shall issue instructions that contain necessary procedures to ensure that the same requirements as in paragraph (c) of this section, relating to all manual records, are met.

[47 FR 3080, Jan. 22, 1982, as amended at 51 FR 8410, Mar. 11, 1986]

return arrow Back to Top

§293.403   Contents of employee performance files.

(a) A decision on what constitutes a performance-related document within the meaning of this subpart rests with the agency. Agency implementing instructions, for both incumbents of the Senior Executive Service and other positions, shall provide specific written guidance of the description of what constitutes the agency's official performance-related forms and documents.

(b) Agency implementing instructions describing such records shall indicate where and for how long they are retained and how and when they are to be destroyed. Such instructions shall also describe what records are considered to be performance-related (as specifically as is feasible) and shall include all performance-related records maintained as a system of records within the meaning of the Privacy Act. Such records would generally include:

(1) Any form or other document which records the performance appraisal, including appraisals leading to merit pay determinations.

(2) Any form or other document used by rating officials to recommend a personnel action affecting an employee (including a request for personnel action document, but only when the action is not effected) when the basis for the action (e.g., removal, reassignment, demotion, promotion, or merit pay or other performance award) is performance-related.

(3) Recommendations for training that are performance-related.

(4) Any form or other document furnished in support of recommended actions such as those listed in paragraph (b)(2) of this section and the agency's final decision on the matter (e.g., a recommendation for merit pay or an agency decision to grant only one-half the comparability pay adjustment).

(5) Any form or other document which the rating official is required by the agency to keep during an appraisal period (e.g., quality control records, production records, or similar records used to track employee performance during the appraisal period.)

(6) Any form or other document regarding Performance Review Board decisions, including supporting documentation and any transcript of hearings or testimony from witnesses.

(7) Any form or other document regarding decisions or recommendations of agency Executive Resources Boards related to performance appraisal or actions resulting from performance appraisals.

(8) Appraisals of potential (e.g., in connection with an agency's merit promotion procedures) if agency implementing instructions specifically require or permit retention of a copy.

(9) Individual development plans.

(10) Copies of licenses, certificates of proficiency, or similar documents required of the position.

(c) General information about the employee, i.e., identification data, information concerning Federal and non-Federal employment experience, and information about any training programs the employee participated in may, if an agency deems it appropriate, be retained in this system.

[47 FR 3080, Jan. 22, 1982, as amended at 63 FR 43867, Aug. 17, 1998]

return arrow Back to Top

§293.404   Retention schedule.

(a)(1) Except as provided in §293.405(a), performance ratings or documents supporting them are generally not permanent records and shall, except for appointees to the SES and including incumbents of executive positions not covered by SES, be retained as prescribed below:

(i) Performance ratings of record, including the performance plans on which they are based, shall be retained for 4 years;

(ii) Supporting documents shall be retained for as long as the agency deems appropriate (up to 4 years);

(iii) Performance records superseded (e.g., through an administrative or judicial procedure) and performance-related records pertaining to a former employee (except as prescribed in §293.405(a)) need not be retained for a minimum of 4 years. Rather, in the former case they are to be destroyed and in the latter case agencies shall determine the retention schedule; and

(iv) Except where prohibited by law, retention of automated records longer than the maximum prescribed here is permitted for purposes of statistical analysis so long as the data are not used in any action affecting the employee when the manual record has been or should have been destroyed.

(2) When an employee is reassigned within the employing agency, disposition of records in this system, including transfer with the employee who changes positions, shall be as agencies prescribe and consistent with §293.405(a).

(3) Appraisals of unacceptable performance, where a notice of proposed demotion or removal is issued but not effected, and all documents related thereto, manual and automated, pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 4303(d) must be destroyed after the employee completes one year of acceptable performance from the date of the written advance notice of the proposed removal or reduction in grade notice. Under conditions specified by an agency, and earlier destruction date is permitted and destruction must be no later than 30 days after the year is up.

(b) Performance records for Senior Executive Service appointees, including those serving under a Presidential appointment under 5 U.S.C. 3392(c), are to be retained as follows:

(1) Pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 4314(b) (3) and (4), Senior Executive Service appointees shall have their performance-related records maintained for five consecutive years (from the date the appraisal is issued) beginning with the effective date of appointment, including individuals receiving appointments pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 3593(b).

(2) When an appointee of the Senior Executive Service moves to another position in the Service, either with the same or a different agency, all appropriate performance-related documents five years old or less shall be forwarded in the Employee Performance File along with the individual's OPF.

(3) When an employee in the Senior Executive Service accepts a Presidential appointment pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 3392(c), the employee's performance file shall be retained as long as the employee remains employed under that Presidential appointment. When the appointment ends, and the individual does not return to the Senior Executive Service, the employee's performance file shall be destroyed in accordance with agency procedures.

(c) Where any performance-related document is needed in connection with an ongoing administrative, negotiated, quasi-judicial, or judicial proceeding, and it continues to be retained in this system rather than another system, it may be retained for as long as necessary beyond the retention schedules identified in paragraphs (a) and (b) of this section.

(d) Screening and purging of folders/envelopes and rating official's work files for the purpose of compliance with these retention schedules shall be through any agency process insuring consistency with the requirements.

[47 FR 3080, Jan. 22, 1982, as amended at 51 FR 8411, Mar. 11, 1986; 56 FR 65416, Dec. 17, 1991]

return arrow Back to Top

§293.405   Disposition of records.

(a) When the OPF of a non-SES employee is sent to another servicing office in the employing agency, to another agency, or to the National Personnel Records Center, the “losing” servicing office shall include in the OPF all performance ratings of record that are 4 years old or less, including the performance plan on which the most recent rating was based, and the summary rating prepared when the employee changes positions, as prescribed in part 430 of this chapter. Also, the “losing” office will purge from the OPF all performance ratings and performance plans that are more than 4 years old, and other performance-related records, according to agency policy established under §293.404(a)(2) and in accordance with the Guide to Personnel Recordkeeping.

(b) Consistent with transfer instructions pertaining to SES positions contained in this part, employee performance files shall be forwarded to gaining agencies at the same time as the OPF (5 CFR 293.207).

(c) Consistent with retention schedules promulgated in §293.404, destruction of performance-related records shall be in accordance with agency procedures (e.g., by shredding or burning).

(d) If a former employee returns to an agency, a new employee performance file will be created unless the prior file for this employee is still available. The original file may be reactivated provided that, consistent with the retention schedules and destruction requirements promulgated in this subpart, the contents are properly disposed of.

(e)(1) It is the responsibility of the agency Personnel Director to insure the maintenance of employee performance files in accordance with this subpart and subparts A and B of this part, part 297 of this title, and with Office of Personnel Management guidance.

(2) This responsibility may be delegated in writing to other agency officials as appropriate. Implementing guidelines for agency performance appraisal systems shall provide written instructions for compliance with Office rules and procedures as well as descriptions of the documents and where they are retained, and shall ensure that records are retained in accordance with the provisions of §293.402.

[47 FR 3080, Jan. 22, 1982, as amended at 51 FR 8411, Mar. 11, 1986; 56 FR 65416, Dec. 17, 1991; 66 FR 66709, Dec. 27, 2001]

return arrow Back to Top

§293.406   Disclosure of records.

Disclosure as used here means the furnishing of the record to someone other than the individual to whom the record pertains, his/her designated representative, or to an agency official who needs the information in the performance of official duties. Disclosure of information from this file system shall be made only as permitted by the Privacy Act (5 U.S.C. 552a(b)) and, with regard to the routine use provisions of that section, only under a routine use published by the Office for the system of records covering these records. However, to the extent that this system contains the data identified as being available to the public in §293.311, for most Federal employees and under the same restrictions listed in that section, that information shall also be made available to the public from this system.

return arrow Back to Top